The day started with three games getting out-of-hand in the first quarter of play. Indiana and Purdue never looked back after hot starts against Rutgers and Maryland. The Hoosiers’ win was all but guaranteed, while Purdue’s 40-14 blowout win over Maryland was a surprise given the number of injuries to key players for the Boilermakers. Michigan seemed on track for a similar game-script as they jumped out to a 28-0 lead on the road against Illinois before a 25-0 run by the home team scared the life back into a Wolverines team that was coasting through the second half.
Wisconsin ran over Michigan State on their way to 6-0. The Spartans have now been outscored 72-10 in the past two weeks against Ohio State and Wisconsin. They’ll have a bye week to come up with a gameplan to jumpstart the offense against Penn State.
In the evening slate the Gophers continued to win the games they’re supposed to, and surprisingly doing so in impressive fashion. Minnesota looked dominant in their win over Nebraska, rushing for over 300 yards as a team for the second straight week. Penn State and Iowa finally delivered a prime-time spectacle for the conference that was worth watching into the fourth quarter as long as you appreciate good defense. Iowa will look to rebound against Purdue next week and still have Wisconsin and Minnesota on the schedule, but their chances in the West are looking bleak.
Michigan 42, Illinois 25
Indiana 35, Rutgers 0
Purdue 40, Maryland 14
Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 0
Penn State 17, Iowa 12
Minnesota 34, Nebraska 7
– Maryland’s issues go beyond lacking the talent to compete against the best in the Big Ten. Suffering a blowout loss on the road against an injury-riddled Purdue team, the Terps are now looking at their home game against the Hoosiers next week as a must-win to stay on the path to bowl eligibility.
– With most of the league doing a great job of staying on-brand this year, Minnesota is one of the few surprises. Looking surprisingly dominant once again in their win over Nebraska I think it’s fair to say the Gophers have the best offense in the West outside of Jonathan Taylor. Games against Rutgers and Maryland are on the horizon, so the Gophers are unlikely to meet much resistance prior to their November 9th date in Happy Valley against the Nittany Lions.
– Purdue’s freshman QB Jack Plummer had an excellent bounce-back performance against Maryland after a nightmare afternoon in State College last week. He threw for 420 yards and 3 TDs on 41 attempts. With Rondale Moore out, freshman WR David Bell stepped up with 138 yards and 2 TDs on 9 receptions. The combination of Plummer and Bell should give the Boilermakers some juice down the stretch despite the number of injuries to key personnel.
(#4)Ohio State at Northwestern (8:30 p.m. Friday)
(#6)Wisconsin at Illinois
Purdue at (#23)Iowa
Indiana at Maryland
(#20)Minnesota at Rutgers
(#16)Michigan at (#7)Penn State
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